Biz Travel

Old May 5th, 2005, 08:37 PM
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Biz Travel

Is this outfit legit?
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Old May 6th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Could you be referring to www.biztravels.com? If so, my understanding is that they're a broker for award tickets. In other words, if I have miles that I want to sell, I contact them. They find a buyer who can use my miles to redeem an award ticket which gets issued in the buyer's name. The broker takes their cut out of the buyer's payment and I get the rest. It's legit in the sense that you'll get a valid ticket and no laws are broken as far as I know. But the sale or barter of award tickets is against the rules of almost every ff program. The chances may be small that the airline finds out, but worst case scenario could be that the airline cancels your ticket. Will the broker provide a guarantee that this will not happen? Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but I've stayed away from these types of transactions unless it's from a 100% reliable source (like a family member ).

Aside from the risk issue, these tickets are not cheap either. $2495 for business class from the US to Europe is what a discounted business class fare usually costs directly from the airline (and often less on east coast routes).

If you're referring to some other Biz Travel, please post a link.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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Nope, that's the one. How do I get a discounted rate directly from an airline?
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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If discounted business fares are available (they aren't always), they will show up on the airline's website or 3rd party booking sites like Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.

These are restricted fares with advance purchase and minimum/maximum stay requirements and change penalties. For example on Air France, the least expensive business class fare is a Z class fare with a 50 day advance purchase requirement, 7 night min/1 month max stay, and $300 change penalty. If you don't meet these restrictions, then you won't qualify for the fare.

I did a check for IAD-VIE, NUE-IAD on some random dates in December and found a $2150 fare on Air France. This is a discounted Z class fare. Somewhere in the booking process, it should show you the fare class. You may have to click on 'fare rules' or something similar.

Different airlines use different letters to designate their fare classes, so Z class on one airline may not correspond to Z class on another. For example on Delta, discounted business class is booked in I class. The exceptions are the use of Y which is pretty much universal to all airlines to designate full fare economy or the use of J or C for full fare business.

As far as on board service, you'll see no difference regardless of what fare class you purchased. Just as all of the passengers sitting in economy will have paid a broad range of different fares, so have the passengers sitting in business or first.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 11:47 AM
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I found several good fares on Orbitz, but the fly in the ointment is the flight schedule out of Nurnberg and the fact that the planes are of the smallish variety, which make me nervous. Still thinking about flying with the tour group, much as I'd rather get to Vienna a day ahead.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 01:38 PM
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Not much you can do about the schedule/aircraft. Nuremburg is a small airport and we ran into similar issues.

If you go with the tour group flights, do you know what airline/routing they'll put you on? Can you make specific requests? My in laws booked their flights through Viking and the initial flight schedule they provided wasn't ideal, but Viking was very accomodating when we asked for changes.

I'm curious how much GCT charges for business class air.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:59 PM
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About $2600 from Dulles to Vienna. I did ask about flying a day earlier than scheduled, but it was a no go.

Now I see that the return flight is United out of Frankfurt (unless it's a Lufthansa code share) on a 747, which wouldn't be too hard to take.

I found out from GCT that the day of arrival in Venice has not much scheduled. So if I don't go early I figure I can just collapse on my bed and sleep if I need to.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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UA and Lufthansa codeshare on this route with both airlines operating nonstops. The 12:25pm and 5:00pm flights are operated by UA. The 1:10pm is operated by Lufthansa. Both of the earlier flights are 747's and the later UA flight is a 777.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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As mentioned, if you are caught the airline can refuse to honor the ticket. The other downside if caught in this scheme that sure seems like a blatant violation of program rules is that the airline can also bar you and the person who sold the reward ticket from participation in their FF program. At least that's the wording on the program rules; I've never heard of anyone to whom this actually happened - has anyone?
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